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ATI All-in-Wonder X1900
ATI’s All-in-Wonder range is something of a legend in the PC graphics market. Since the introduction of the first All-in-Wonder back in late 1996 (based on the 3D Rage II!) it has become famed for offering an all-you-can-eat mix of high powered graphics and multimedia in one pot.
On top of the latest ATI graphics chip, the All-in-Wonder always adds a TV Tuner and a plethora of inputs and outputs for connecting up and capturing from a variety of sources. It was really the forerunner to what is now becoming a mainstream practice – combining the power of a computer with TV.
In the past it has always been some time after releasing its latest graphics chipset before the GPU would also appear. However, this time ATI has been quick out of the traps, releasing the All-in-Wonder X1900 at virtually the same time as the dedicated graphics card.
However, as ever the chip on the card is not quite as powerful as the standalone version. The clock speeds on the XTX hit 650MHz core and 1,550MHz and the XT 625/1,450MHz. The All-in-Wonder has ‘only’ 500/960MHz. Additionally, instead of 512MB of memory there’s only 256MB on board. This does make the card slightly more mortal at super high resolutions but the 48 pixel shader processors and eight vertex shaders are unchanged, so for 3D graphics performance this is still a beast of a card.
These lower clock speeds are necessary to reduce heat output to enable the extra circuitry on the card to function reliably and also to save cost on what it already an expensive product. That said it looks as the price should be around the £300 mark, which would make it significantly more affordable that the XTX or the XT. Availability in Europe is said to be mid February.
The advantage of the lower clocks though is that the card can be a slender single-slot solution. However, the card is quite long at 247mm so get out your tape measure before planning on fitting it into a small form factor PC. The fan is also relatively quiet. For testing I swapped out two GeForce 7800 GTs for the All-in-Wonder and purely in terms of noise levels the difference was palpable.